VroomGirls 2011 Car of the Year Awards
Welcome to VroomGirls’ very first Car Of The Year Awards. After a full year of driving everything on four wheels, we have chosen 13 vehicles our reviewers believe represent the very best in their class. We are excited for our winners. We hope you’ll put our VROOMIE winners on your test drive list.
RANGE ROVER EVOQUE
It’s drop-dead gorgeous but certainly no bubble-headed beauty. This spectacularly capable all-wheel-drive family hauler is as much at home on muddy, icy roads as it is cruising down Worth Avenue. We chose the EVOQUE because it best exemplifies the beauty all women crave in our daily drivers, but also brains behind the looks.
CHRYSLER TOWN & COUNTRY
It has been the gold standard of minivans since its debut in 1990. The Town & Country was the first minivan to have sliding doors on both sides of the car – seems silly not to – and to outfit its quintessential family vehicle with optional leather seating and fancy-looking dashboard design. It has brilliant Stow ‘N Go seating, which allows the second and third seats to fold completely flat for easy cargo delivery, and to act as storage compartments for toys, games – or your purse – when the seats are in use. A truly brilliant and comfortable way to ferry you and your family around town.
BEST FAMILY SUV
GMC TERRAIN AWD SLT-2
Like the Town & Country is to the minivan, the Terrain has taken the SUV to a level of luxury not usually found in this price range. Considered a small SUV, it appears larger inside and out, with ample head and leg room for backseat passengers and a decent, if not enormous, cargo area. It’s stylish inside and out, and offers a smooth ride with plenty of power to punch it on the highway.
TOYOTA PRIUS V
Toyota is the Mack Daddy of hybrids, and the Prius is the Mack Daddiest. There is no manufacturer that can compete at the Prius level for fuel efficiency and customer satisfaction. The V is the newest vehicle in Toyota’s growing Prius line-up, with promises of more fuel-efficient iterations to come. We love the new V because it really is so versatile. It has excellent fuel efficiency (44 mpg city / 40 mpg hwy) in a five-door wagon size. So you can load up your gear, as much as you would in a small SUV, and not guzzle gas. The V is what we’ve all been waiting for when it comes to combining hauling capacity and fuel efficiency, making it VroomGirls’ feel-good car.
BEST ELECTRIC CAR
If George Jetson didn’t tool around the skies in his 1960s hovercraft, he most certainly would have wanted a Leaf. Sit inside this all-electric five-seater and you can’t help but love its futuristic, cheerful demeanor. Nissan says the Leaf can get about 100 miles on a single charge but that depends on whether the air conditioning is in use, and whether or not the road has hills or rough terrain. Most drivers will get about 60-75 miles on a charge, which is fantastic if you’re a city driver running the usual 30-40 miles per day. We adore the Leaf for its fun looks and its lack of emissions. If you have solar panels on your home roof, all the better. You can plug in the Leaf and be completely off the grid, as well as emission-free.
BEST FAMILY SEDAN
Why does the family car have to be insipid and ordinary? VW says no thanks to that. We agree. Volkswagen puts contemporary, sophisticated city style in this very roomy and reasonably priced new Passat. It is reliable, American built (in VW’s new Chattanooga, TN factory), and cool enough to be an executive ride after you clean up the Crayons and Cheddar Goldfish from the backseat (no, those don’t come standard!) VroomGirls loves the Passat’s German handling, which is more precise and firm than some other five-seat sedans, yet with suspension that is not so firm as to be jarring to passengers. Also, the instrumentation for climate control and sound system are simple to use and intuitive. Something that seems to be a dying art in car making.